The Xbox Series X hunt continues on. For those who are looking to get their hands on one of Microsoft's new consoles, it's a jungle out there. The scarcity crisis isn't getting any better, and Microsoft is preparing gamers for at least half a year of this.
The hope is that it'll get easier over time. With each brief restock, more people are able to secure a console. With any luck, that'll help make the field less competitive each time ... right? Well, probably not as long as there are scalpers out there, but the UK is currently mulling a ban on the practice, so there's some hope on the horizon. Until that happens, here's what you'll need to know to secure an Xbox in a timely manner.
Popfindr, Octoshop, and other tools to find Xbox Series X consoles
In a world where fewer people are going in-store and more people are ordering online, tracking is essential.
There are plenty of ways you can set up some effective tracking, from Google Chrome extensions that keep track of restocks for you to Twitter accounts that post when consoles go live. Either option is essential if you want to know when the Xbox Series X or Xbox Series S go back in stock. On the tool side, PopFindr is a must download. If you're planning to pick a console up at a store, this extension helps you check inventory at your local retailers.
OctoShop is another must-have extension that's more suited for online shoppers. This location-based app frequently checks several retailers, so it'll let you know as soon as retailers refresh their listings. When it comes to Twitter accounts, go ahead and follow @Wario64, who consistently tweets when new consoles become available (he posts plenty of great gaming deals too). The Stock Informer Discord channel can also be a useful tracking resource as well, introducing you to a helpful community of trackers. Try one of those options or combine a few to maximize your searching efforts.
If you truly want an Xbox console, the Microsoft Store continues to be a reliable way to track one down. Microsoft sells consoles through its online storefront for Windows and Xbox and has put out new consoles frequently since launch. Most recently, the Xbox Series S popped up at the stroke of midnight on Monday, February 8.
As you can imagine judging by that, the Microsoft Store can be a little unpredictable when it comes to timing. It can also take a but to ship consoles out, but the flipside to that is that your order isn't likely to get canceled. Even with those caveats, the Microsoft Store is a reliable way to find one so you'll want to heavily monitor the official Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S store pages.
You've probably heard of this little company called GameStop throughout early February. Well, it isn't just great for stock memes; it's a great way to find an Xbox too! While the retailer hasn't had an Xbox refresh in quite some time, it looks like a refresh could be imminent.
If you head over to the Xbox Series X listing, it now has a "2/15/2021" release date. It's not entirely clear what that means or if it's just a strange mistake, but our best guess is that a refresh will drop on that day. Mark your calendar for Monday, February 15 and get some tracking set up on the site. With that much notice, it could be your best shot yet to get one.
Target continues to be the retailer to watch heading into 2021. After rumors circulated that console restocks were planned late last year, a major refresh happened in December, giving players hope. At the time, Twitter users have been sharing screenshots of their successful Series X orders, which were supposedly available for in-store pick-up.
The retailer was quiet for a full month until January 21, when it got a big refresh. Then it started February off with a band, dropping consoles on Tuesday, February 2 at around 8:00 a.m. Eastern. Considering that it's one of the more recent retailers to get a refresh, it might not get another round for a few weeks, but you'll still want to generally stake out the Series X and Series S pages for updates.
In recent months, Antonline has become a power player in the console restock game. The relatively unknown retailer has become one of the best sources for getting a new console and it continues to deliver while sites like Amazon struggle. Because it isn't a well-known retailer as the Microsoft Store or Walmart, there's often less competition when orders go up.
Antonline generally sells bundles at an increased price. While it's not known when the next round will drop, Antonline recently tweeted that it will have next-gen drops "every week," which is promising. We recommend staking out their Xbox landing page for more updates.
As the biggest retailer in North America, Walmart has frequently restocked Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S consoles since the launch in November. Even though they aren't selling consoles in stores anymore, the Series X last showed up online on February 4 at 3 p.m. Eastern. Walmart even gave users a warning before the consoles went live, which it's done in the past as well.
In general, Walmart is fairly consistent when it comes to restocks and they're much kinder when it comes to giving you a heads up. If you had to pick one bigger name to casually follow alongside Target, this would be the way to go. Make sure to set up alerts on the Xbox Series X or Xbox Series S pages if you want to stay on top of it.
Best Buy was a power player in the next-gen hunt early on, but it's slowed down a bit since. The last Xbox Series X or Series S restocks came on January 22. The refresh included some bundles with extra goodies added in. Considering how long it's been since the last refresh, it's very possible we see a restock in early February judging by other retailer's timelines.
While there are no official details, Best Buy usually announces restocks beforehand to give buyers advance notice of only a few hours. The retailer has even provided slight time windows in the past. Fans previously got a heads up that systems would be available after 9 a.m. Eastern during one wave, so it’s worth keeping an eye on its social channels for updates like that.
Amazon is becoming something of a lost cause for Xbox hopefuls. The Series X and Series S appear to pop up at random and just as quickly come down with no consistent way to track them. The site also has a bunch of regional variants, which can add some confusion when trying to track.
For example, Amazon U.K. had a restock on Wednesday, January 27, but other regions didn't appear to get one. Whenever Amazon orders go up, which is increasingly rare, it's a blink and you miss it rush. If you're going to go the Amazon route, just be ready to pull the trigger the second you see it, but don't hang your hopes on this one.
Newegg has been a surprisingly good way to find an Xbox since it launched. Like GameStop, the retailer tends to put up larger bundles that feature games and extras. Newegg had a refresh on Friday, February 5 with a twist. The site did a sort of lottery draw for people to get a Series X from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Eastern. In addition to tracking the Xbox Series X and Series S pages, you'll want to make sure you're following Newegg on social media for announcements like that. You can also check out the Newegg Shuffle page to see the next time a lottery system goes up.